Border Cities Era
- Public Domain Mark 1.0
- Border Cities Era (Windsor), Collegiate Era (Windsor), Newspapers, Windsor (Ontario), Essex County (Ontario), Collegiate Era (Windsor), Newspapers, Windsor (Ontario), Essex County (Ontario), Windsor Collegiate Institute, Patterson, J. C. Collegiate Institute (Windsor)
Collegiate Era (Windsor)
The [Windsor] Collegiate Era is a newspaper within the newspaper: Border Cities Era.
When the issues were bound, the front and back covers (and the front and back inside covers) were removed, even though they were part of the page numbering. For the most part, pages 1-2 and the last 2 pages (usually pages 15-16 or pages 11-12) are missing. It is likely that less content is missing than would appear at first glance.
Summarized Online Holdings:
Border Cities Era 1918: Aug. 24 - 1919: Aug. 14
Collegiate Era Vol. 1: no. 1 (1918: Nov. 30) - Vol. 1: no. 29 (1919: June 24)
Charles Linley Barker was born October 31st, 1880 in Fargo, Kent County, Ontario and came to Windsor as a small boy with his family. He married Lavenia Muir in 1905.
During the early part of the twentieth century, the Windsor Record was the main daily newspaper in Windsor. Charles Barker was involved with the Record almost since childhood, starting first as a carrier, then as an office boy, reporter, city/news editor, and finally as managing editor. His service to the Windsor Record was only broken by a two year stint (1909-1911) as the news editor at the Ottawa Free Press and in 1903 when he started and briefly edited the Windsor Standard newspaper.
In 1918, the Windsor Record was sold by owner, John A. McKay, to W. F. Herman under somewhat shady circumstances, and despite an offer by Charles Barker and his colleagues to purchase the newspaper. Herman changed the name of the Windsor Record to the Border Cities Star. Charles Barker resigned from the Windsor Record on July 31st, 1918 and shortly thereafter started the Border Cites Era, a weekly publication that first appeared on August 24th,1918, with a 1,000 copies.
One of the newspapers chief objectives was to “promote the welfare of various patriotic organizations” (1918: Aug. 24 p. 2) in Essex County. These included the Navy League of Canada, the Daughters of the Empire, the Red Cross, and the Great War Veterans Association. There are many articles on the contributions of Essex County to World War I, first hand accounts of local soldiers, obituaries, and other war related news from overseas.
In addition, Charles Barker wrote “the publication has prided itself on faithful adherence to a trade-at-home policy, public ownership of the street railway, the establishment of a joint water supply for the Border Cities, preference for the returned men in civil and government positions, and complete independence of editorial of all subjects under review”(1919: Aug. 7 p. 3). He wanted the Era to have personality and originality. There is a detailed account of the circumstances surrounding the sale of the Windsor Record and another of the problems with the contemporary wire service. There are regular columns on local cinema, fraternal societies, and a great focus on sewer and water works. Essex County history is another favourite topic, with short stories by Jacques Picard (a nom de plume), and descriptions of local conditions and services such as the fire department, old Windsor hotels, and the stage coach routes.
After the end of the War, the focus of the Border Cities Era gradually shifts. It becomes more business focused with regular columns such as the Weekly Review of Building and Real Estate, Finance and Insurance, Guide for Auto Buyers and Car Owners, and articles on the automotive industry and organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce.
Charles Barker had a lot of interests. He belonged to the Knights of Pythias, the Windsor Curling Club, the Lawn Bowling Club, Windsor and Sandwich Horticultural Society, the Windsor and North Essex Agricultural Society, the Windsor Literary Society, and the Windsor Board of Trade. Many of these interests are reflected in the newspaper.
Another unusual aspect to the Border Cities Era is the newspaper within a newspaper. Charles Barker was a graduate of Windsor Collegiate Institute and, likely as a result, allowed students from his alma mater to start the Collegiate Era newspaper within the Border Cities Era. The Collegiate Era focuses on student events, sports, poetry, prose, and the history of the institution.
It is unclear how long the Border Cities Era continued to publish. In the early 1920s, Charles Barker was working as the advertising manager at C. H. Smith And Co. (retail department store). However, he also owned a printing/publishing business called the Record Press and so may have continued on with the newspaper past 1919. He later moved to Michigan and died in Lansing in September 1962.
Updated: Katharine Ball, December 2019
- 2020-01-08 18:32:55
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